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[cover]Reading Group Guide for The Best of Good
by Sara Lewis

  1. What becomes of grief? After its initial devastating impact, does it diminish, fade, or disappear completely? If so, how does this happen? If not, what becomes of it and how do we continue to function after a monumental personal loss?

  2. How do national or global events, such as 9/11, that may not affect us personally, relate to our personal grief?

  3. Is self-improvement possible? How much can we improve ourselves, and what parts of us are we simply stuck with? Can we really remove the old clutter and crud from our homes, our heads, and our hearts to move forward in our lives? If so, can you think of a real-life example of such a change, either sudden or gradual, in yourself or someone you know?

  4. What has prevented Good from progressing in his own life? What changes occur in the book that trigger Good's transformation? What is the vehicle for his "resurrection"?

  5. What events—both internal and external—contribute to Good's transformation?

  6. What transformations did other characters in the book experience as a direct or indirect result of what happens to Good?

  7. Pop music shaped Tom Good as much as anything else in his life. Is this just true of this one character, or do you feel that the songs and musicians can make a difference to people in real life? Has music or other art forms—perhaps movies, books, television, painting, or photography—that have influenced the way you live and think?

  8. Music has a profound effect on Good, bringing back strong memories of particular moments in his life. Have you ever had what Good calls a music-induced flashback? Discuss how and when this happens and with which songs.

  9. Good tells of forming a "fake" band and writing "fake" songs. People took the band and the songs seriously, and becoming fans of the band and buying its music. Why didn't Good consider his band and music to be real?


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Text © 1992-2007 by Sara Lewis.

Sarah Lewis